DoES wants to Do Even More Epic *cough*

Over the last year, DoES has hosted events like Barcamp, Google Developer Breakfasts, and groups like Makernight, Lean Startups, the SpecFic Writing Group and Liverpool Sewing Club. We’ve also welcomed many guests, from occasional hotdeskers to permanent residents – techies, entrepreneurs, and artists.

We’re in great shape to carry on doing all this and more… but sometimes it feels like there is Too Much Awesome to hold within our 4 walls. We’ve got a great opportunity to expand next door into what we call the “Dinky” room.

Here’s what we could do with the room:

  • It has plumbing for a kitchen!
  • Move the current workshop tables into a dedicated space in Dinky
  • This would free up desks and clutter in the main space to have more capacity for desk workers
  • We’d also be able to move the laser-cutter into Dinky, freeing up the central room to be entirely a shared meeting space.

But of course, we need money for this: it would normally cost around £650/month, but we could currently take it on for £325. It looks like at the moment we could almost afford it. As DoES has always been very careful with managing our money well, we don’t want to take on something without being sure it will work out.

So:

  • If you were thinking of taking a permanent desk, or a workshop membership at DoES, this would be the perfect time!
  • If you know someone who is looking for a desk or workshop, why not point them in our direction?
  • And if you’re like to support DoES, but don’t need a desk, why not think about becoming a Friend who DoES?

Become a Friend who Does Epic, er, Stuff.

Sad Puppy
CC-BY-SA Martin Cathrae http://www.flickr.com/photos/suckamc/3047183157/

Would you like to support your friendly local co-working and hackspace, but don’t need a regular desk or workshop access? That’s the problem that Francis Irving from ScraperWiki had. And when he looked at us sadly with his adorable puppy eyes, we knew we had to help him out! [1]

So, you can now become a Friend who Does Epic ShiStuff (allegedly) for a mere £9 a month. You’ll get your very own laser-cut membership card, and a host of membership benefits, currently mostly consisting of a warm glow and the eternal love of everyone here at DoES [2].

[1] an alternative explanation of events is given in Francis’s post on being our first DoES Friend

[2] however we are considering many options for the future, such as: money-off vouchers! Free kittens! Sparkly stickers!

GEC 2012 Round-up and Thanks to ScraperWiki

Well GEC2012 was such a great week it’s taken us a long time to recover!

Before GEC week even started we had some great coverage in the Liverpool Daily Post. Monday featured talks by Peter Bond and Ian Scott talking about invention and innovation. We had attendees from Canada, Spain and New Zealand who all seemed to enjoy the talks. In the evening the Knowledge Cafe 101 event was well attended and we had some interesting attendees to the Open Evening coming to see what DoES Liverpool was about.

Tuesday’s Lean Liverpool went well and we very much appreciated Mark Holmes not only giving a talk about The Startup Owner’s Manual by Steven Gary Blank but also donating a copy! Maker Night again saw new people being introduced to DoES Liverpool and discussing the interesting projects they want to work on, unusually there was a bit of a software bias to some of the ideas but the 3D printer and laser cutter were both active throughout the night as well!

The Open Source Entrepreuneurship talk went down really well and Adrian has done a great write-up and linked to the video over on his blog.

Finally Ignite returned to Liverpool for the 9th time with a fitting 9 great talks, including me (John McKerrell) talking about the birth of DoES Liverpool and giving instructions for how to set up your own amazing co-working maker space. See that link for the slides to my talk and see the videos of the talks on the UStream channel.

We also have to thank ScraperWiki for stepping in at the last minute to help sponsor the events we held in DoES meaning we could offer free tea, coffee and beer throughout. It’s great to have support from people like ScraperWiki and ACME meaning we can put on some great events!

GEC 2012 and Monthly Meeting

Just a quick round-up post to tell you what happened in our Monthly Meeting last week and to let you know about our activities for GEC 2012 next month.

Global Entrepreneurs Congress 2012 – 9-16th March

GEC2012 is aiming to be “a festival for business where people, passion and potential will be celebrated, inspired and accelerated.” One of the aims of DoES Liverpool is to inspire people and help them to create new and innovative businesses in Liverpool so we had to get involved. GEC 2012 is running a fringe calendar of events, essentially an open calendar that anyone can submit events to, so we’ve put together a great selection of events to run throughout the week.

We’re working with Knowledge Café 0151 to create a day of talks and discussion on entrepreneurship and alternative economics, with Digital Creativity in Disability and DefNet Media we’re holding an Open Source Entrepreneurship panel to answer your questions about collaboration between startups, we’re also helping to put together a great line-up for Ignite Liverpool 9. Along with these events we’re also running our regular Lean Liverpool event and Maker Night and opening them up to the attendees to GEC.

Click here for more information about all of these events.

Monthly Meeting

We held our second open meeting last Thursday, 23rd February. As agreed at the first meeting we will be alternating between lunchtime and evening so this was our first evening meeting. Attendance was pretty low but we still had some good discussions. We had an update on plans for the GEC 2012 as mentioned above, Adrian confirmed that Maker Days will be starting on the 10th March and we discussed a new RFID PAYG system amongst other things. For a full round-up of the meeting take a look at the minutes, note that the next meeting will be at 12:30 Thursday 22nd March, be there!

DoES Liverpool’s GEC 2012 events are supported by Merseyside ACME

Meeting Summary and Open Day Next Week

Our recent meeting went really well. We had a good mix of people turn up, including someone making his first visit to the space. I’m not going to go into depth about what we discussed as the minutes will cover that but we wanted to highlight a few things, first things first, you can find the minutes of the meeting here on the wiki.

Second thing to mention, hinted at there, is the wiki! We now have a wiki for DoES Liverpool, anyone* can edit pages on the wiki so it’s a great place to put information about DoES, about projects we’ve got going on, pledge drives, events, all sorts of things. For now here’s a few important pages to highlight:

* – because of problems with spam we’ve had to restrict edits to users within a specific group but just let us know your username and we’ll add you to the group

The wiki still needs some love and attention, the front page could do with some more information about what DoES is and a bit more organisation so if you want to help out with that, sign up for an account, let us know and get started!

Open Day

On February 16th we’re going to be holding an Open Day at DoES Liverpool, come along and make use of our hot desks for free! This would usually be a Jelly Liverpool day but as it’s not on next week we decided to open our doors instead. We can’t offer a free sandwich but you’ll get free tea and coffee and use of our internet and power. Bringing cake is entirely optional and it won’t count as a paid hot desk for our existing members. Come down and try us out!

Ada Lovelace Day Attendees

DoES Liverpool Unveils Laser Cutter at Maker Night

DoES Liverpool is looking forward to unveiling the new laser cutter they have recently received to enable members of the community to better understand the potential of rapid prototyping using digital fabrication. The laser cutter will be available for use by members of the community free of charge and will be unveiled at Monday’s Maker Night from 6:30pm in the Gostins Building, Hanover Street.

The laser cutter supplements the existing digital fabrication tools available in DoES Liverpool – a 3D printer and a CNC machine – and will vastly extend the prototyping capabilities available to the community.

Many members of the community have already been working with laser cutting, using the device that is available during Maker Nights in the Art and Design Academy of Liverpool John Moores University but the availability of one within DoES Liverpool’s workshop means that work can continue on projects beyond that monthly visit.

John McKerrell, one of the organisers of DoES Liverpool, had this to say:

“I’m very excited to see what interesting things will be built with the help of the new laser cutter. One of my own projects – the WhereDial, a device for showing locations of friends and family as they check into places using their mobile phone – has taken a long time to develop as I’ve had to wait a month to try each new iteration. I will now be able to iterate my designs much quicker and should be able to get the product to market very soon.”

Preparing designs for the laser cutter is surprisingly simple. Any vector drawing package can be used such as the free and Open Source Inkscape or commercial packages such as Adobe Illustrator and Corel Draw. Once prepared designs are simply sent to the laser cutter which can very quickly engrave and cut the designs from plywood or perspex. Objects can then be constructed, any problems revised and a new version cut out very quickly. Help is available from the DoES Liverpool community for those who need it and lots of designs are freely available on the internet too.

In fact it’s possible to cut more exotic materials too, Maker Night regular Beth Edmondson works with leather and fabrics to create interesting clothing designs and decorations. Local artist Susan Brown has also been experimenting by using the laser to etch her own designs onto perspex blocks which she then uses to make prints.

John adds, “People have developed lots of different designs that can be cut out and built, many of which are freely available on the Internet. From small sculptures of animals, through clocks, containers and camera mounts, all the way up to 3D printers. Though many of these involve other parts – nuts, bolts, motors or other electronics – their strength and structure is based on a very simple 2 dimensional design cut out on a laser cutter like ours.”.

Maker Night is a free to attend event organised by DoES Liverpool with support from Open Labs at Liverpool John Moores University providing a space for people to learn, experiment and work on projects related to physical computing, digital fabrication, Arduino and electronics. They’re informal, friendly events and everyone is welcome, of any ability level. The next event takes place in DoES Liverpool’s space on the 4th floor of the Gostins Building, Hanover Street.

Laser Cut Piggy Bank

See our flickr photostream for more laser cut goodies.

Help improve DoES Liverpool with our survey and open meeting

UPDATE: The start time for the meeting has now been confirmed for 12:30, 26th January 2012

DoES Liverpool has been in its new home for almost exactly 6 months now. We’ve had an amazing time so far; some great events like the return of BarCamp Liverpool, meeting lots of interesting freelancers and co-workers, and helping people learn all sorts of things – including using a laser-cutter, sewing, and better ways to run their business. We want the next 6 months to be even better though and so we’re asking for help from everyone that has had some involvement in DoES. Yes, that means you!

We’re going to have a meeting later this month, most likely at lunchtime on the 26th (January 2012). We would call it a “Resident’s Meeting” but we don’t want people to think it’s only for people who have a permanent desk here. In fact we want as many people as possible to turn up who would like to be involved in the future of DoES Liverpool. We’ve previously had “Organisers Meetings” that involved only the people who were initially involved with setting DoES Liverpool but we now want to open this out to allow more people to be involved.

In preparation for this meeting we’ve put a survey on Google Docs, please fill in the survey so that we can get an idea for how you think we’re doing now and what you’d like to see happening in the future. We’ll report the results of that on here and at the meeting.

Keep an eye on this blog, sign up to the Google Group or follow us on twitter for final confirmation but barring any major changes, we’ll see you on the 26th!

Season’s Greetings from DoES Liverpool

We thought we should have a little festive gathering for everyone who has been a part of DoES Liverpool over the past 5 months.

This Friday (16th) from 4pm we’ll be having some mulled wine, mince pies and frivolity in DoES Liverpool. We’d love if you could join us, come along and celebrate with everyone!

On Friday evening there is also the Twitter pub crawl. After our mini Christmas party we’ll probably grab some dinner before heading off to the pub, anyone who wants to come along is welcome. Click here for more info on the pub crawl.

Best Wishes,

All at DoES Liverpool

The Birth of the DoES Space

When we first moved into the Gostin Building there was a fair bit of work that needed to be done to the space to make it presentable. Nothing too major, mainly collecting furniture and equipment from a few different sources (some from an office that a few of us had shared before founding DoES, and some that was kindly loaned to us by local tech startup Scraperwiki), plus giving the whole space a lick of paint. It had last been used for some sort of strange art project and there were an assortment of outlines of people and objects drawn on the walls.

Given that we’d be doing some work on it I took the opportunity to play around with some time-lapse photography. During the time we were moving in, and doing the decorating, I stuck an old Canon camera on a tripod in the corner. It was running the CHDK software with a script that took a photo every five minutes. A bit of playing around afterwards with ffmpeg, and Open Shot (for the titles) and we had this little video to show off the transition…

 

Birth of the first DoES Space from Adrian McEwen on Vimeo.

That doesn’t give you a sense of what the space is like now that it’s in use, so I thought I’d include this photo of the main space as it is now, but you should really come down for a visit in person 😉

A Panorama of the DoES Space

Of course, if you’d rather have some music to accompany the video, I can recommend watching it from here

Celebrating Ada Lovelace Day at DoESLiverpool

Ada Lovelace Day aims to raise the profile of women in science, technology, engineering and maths by encouraging people around the world to talk about the women whose work they admire. This international day of celebration helps people learn about the achievements of women in STEM, inspiring others and creating new role models for young and old alike.

Taken from About Ada Lovelace Day

To celebrate Ada Lovelace Day, and to celebrate the achievements of women in science, technology, engineering, mathematics and entrepreneurship, we have decided to hold an Open Day for women at DoES Liverpool. On Friday the 7th October, all of the services of DoES Liverpool will be free for use by women. Use a hot desk for the day and have a welcoming place to work with power, wifi and tea & coffee available. If you’re a more crafty type use the facilities of our workshop to work on your projects, getting feedback and help from the other attendees.

DoES Liverpool is successfully bringing together people of various disciplines and allowing great collaboration and sharing of ideas. With this Open Day we hope to bring even more people into the space to enjoy the benefits of co-working.

This offer is open to all women, including existing friends of DoES Liverpool. The day will not count towards your hot desk quota and if you’ve never been before you will still be able to come at a later time and get a free day when you bring cake.

Men are, of course, welcome to come and work from DoES and find out more about what the women of Liverpool are achieving. This will count as a normal day for you so you will need to pay for a hot desk day or bring cake if it’s your first visit.

We’re really hoping that we’ll see some new faces in the space as a result of this so come along and see what we’re about. Ping us on twitter or sign up on lanyard if you think you’ll come, or just turn up on the day.

If you are at DoES for Ada Lovelace Day, you might also be interested in attending: